Thursday, October 22

Sports

Daniel Cormier — This is the Khabib Nurmagomedov I know
Sports

Daniel Cormier — This is the Khabib Nurmagomedov I know

Editor's note: Some content has been edited for clarity and brevity.More than anything, Khabib Nurmagomedov and I are friends.I've watched this guy grow from a young, Russian kid who didn't speak English to a global superstar.He came with a dream, not much money. American Kickboxing Academy teammate Shawn Bunch picked him up at the airport, took him to McDonald's and fed him because he was hungry. And then he took him to the gym.Khabib was undefeated at the time (18-0) and we would talk to him a little bit, because he couldn't really speak much English. You saw how intent on getting better he was. You watch the kid, and then you see Luke Rockhold showing him something. And then Cain Velasquez would be showing him something. And then I would be showing him something. Everybody drew to hi...
NFL MVP watch 2020 – Can anyone catch Russell Wilson? Is Ryan Tannehill a legitimate contender?
Sports

NFL MVP watch 2020 – Can anyone catch Russell Wilson? Is Ryan Tannehill a legitimate contender?

Somehow, in spite of COVID-19 outbreaks and the weekly shuffling of the schedule, the NFL has made it through six full weeks of the 2020 season. NFL MVP awards aren't won on five or six games alone, but the leading candidates are starting to build their cases. So who is deserving of consideration through this point in the season?A panel of eight analysts voted on the top 10 players in the MVP race. We then used those eight sets of rankings to determine our top five candidates overall, using Heisman Trophy-esque scaling for each ranking. We'll also look at a few names who have seen their MVP stock either spike or plummet in the early going. Here are the top five players off to an MVP-caliber start.Jump to:Top five | Just missed | Stock watch2020 stats: 1,502 passing yards, 19 TDs, 3 inte...
How the Rays became the Rays. Inside the brain trust of MLB’s most innovative team
Sports

How the Rays became the Rays. Inside the brain trust of MLB’s most innovative team

7:00 AM ETJoon LeeCloseESPNPreviously a Staff Writer at Bleacher ReportCornell University graduateDavid SchoenfieldCloseESPN Senior WriterSenior writer of SweetSpot baseball blog Former deputy editor of Page 2 Been with ESPN.com since 1995When the Tampa Bay Rays first tasted success, reaching the 2008 World Series after just 10 years in existence, then-manager Joe Maddon would often remind his team that the franchise was still in its infancy."We are where some other teams were 100 years ago," Maddon would say. "We're writing history. We're the first chapters of that history that people are going to look back on."2 RelatedThe Maddon-led Rays lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in that Fall Classic, and the team has still never won a championship -- under him or any manager -- but after all...
How Mookie Betts changed the super-sabermetric World Series into the super-fun Series
Sports

How Mookie Betts changed the super-sabermetric World Series into the super-fun Series

3:13 AM ETJeff PassanESPN CloseESPN MLB insiderAuthor of "The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports"ARLINGTON, Texas -- In 1921, George Herman Ruth, better known as Babe, drew a walk and stole two bases in the fifth inning of a World Series game. In 2020, Markus Lynn Betts, better known as Mookie, drew a walk and stole two bases in the fifth inning of a World Series game. Over the 99 years, with hundreds of games and thousands of innings between these events, nobody managed the feat in a World Series game.That it happens to be Ruth who last mustered the deed is an inspired bit of baseball whimsy, considering the other tie that binds him to Betts. Both were traded by the Boston Red Sox: Ruth to the New York Yankees in a 1919 deal that history con...
How Mookie Betts changed the super-sabermetric World Series into the super-fun Series
Sports

How Mookie Betts changed the super-sabermetric World Series into the super-fun Series

3:13 AM ETJeff PassanESPN CloseESPN MLB insiderAuthor of "The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports"ARLINGTON, Texas -- In 1921, George Herman Ruth, better known as Babe, drew a walk and stole two bases in the fifth inning of a World Series game. In 2020, Markus Lynn Betts, better known as Mookie, drew a walk and stole two bases in the fifth inning of a World Series game. Over the 99 years, with hundreds of games and thousands of innings between these events, nobody managed the feat in a World Series game.That it happens to be Ruth who last mustered the deed is an inspired bit of baseball whimsy, considering the other tie that binds him to Betts. Both were traded by the Boston Red Sox: Ruth to the New York Yankees in a 1919 deal that history con...
Jerry Jones ‘not in feel-good mood’ about Dallas Cowboys’ 2-4 record despite NFC East lead
Sports

Jerry Jones ‘not in feel-good mood’ about Dallas Cowboys’ 2-4 record despite NFC East lead

FRISCO, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys woke up Tuesday in first place in the NFC East, despite a 2-4 record following their 38-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.That is not enough to make even the eternal optimist, owner and general manager Jerry Jones, truly happy."I'm not in a feel-good mood, frankly, that we've got manna from heaven being in the East," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. "These things have a way of evening out as you go along. Certainly, the NFC East is having its challenges now. ... When you're not playing better than we are, it's hard for me to basically look at the end game, which is win the East, and get excited that we're better. [That] 'we may be slow, but we're ahead of you' syndrome. We've got to get better to have the kind of season that makes sense for us."D...
With Big Ten returning, college football still faces more of the unknown
Sports

With Big Ten returning, college football still faces more of the unknown

The calendar says it's late October. The colors of leaves and the emergence of sweaters say the same. But here on Planet College Football, the concept of time is hard to grasp. The game's internal clock needs a reboot. The coronavirus pandemic has taken our mileposts and shuffled them like a deck of cards.The calendar can't tell you who's on the schedule, the way it has for generations. Michigan and Minnesota are playing Saturday night for the 104th time, but the Little Brown Jug game has never been a season opener. The calendar might say it's Week 8, but for the Big Ten, it's Week 1. Those early-season mistakes we've endured for the past month? Get ready for another month of them. Northwestern, 3-9 in 2019, sat out bowl season. The Wildcats haven't played in 47 weeks."It's been a long ...
Champions League matchday 1 – Man United underdogs at PSG; will Liverpool thrive without Van Dijk?
Sports

Champions League matchday 1 – Man United underdogs at PSG; will Liverpool thrive without Van Dijk?

4:20 PM ETMark OgdenTom HamiltonCloseSenior Writer• Joined ESPN in 2011• Covered two Olympics, a pair of Rugby World Cups and two British & Irish Lions tours• Previously rugby editor, and became senior writer in 2018The Champions League is back, and back with a bang, after the draw for the 2020-21 group stage concluded on Oct. 1 in Geneva. The top line? A head-to-head between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as Juventus and Barcelona were paired together in Group G, in a game that could also see fans inside the stadium after UEFA confirmed grounds can be up to 30% full for fixtures if local regulations permit.The standout pairing of the group stage also boasts an American subplot, with U.S. teammates Weston McKennie and Sergino Dest facing off against each other.- Stream ESPN FC D